Taking care of your pearly whites goes beyond regular flossing and brushing. Thanks to research, now we know that what you eat influences your teeth’s health to a large extent. It turns out that functional food groups such as carbohydrates and proteins are good, but not good enough for your dental health. Here are foods that have been scientifically proven to strengthen teeth and prevent decay.
Remember the famous adage that goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” well, it might also keep the dentist at bay. Eating an apple is excellent for your dental wellness because they are hard and fibrous, thus increase salivation. That is essential because it neutralizes malic and citric acids in the mouth. Another benefit is that chewing the coarse texture stimulates your gums and consequently helps to reduce cavity-causing organisms in the mouth by enhancing saliva flow. Considering that apple juice is sugary, it might increase tooth decay. Therefore, you should consider eating fresh apples.
Besides keeping you alert, the caffeine stimulating drink contains essentials phenols that can slow down the growth of bacteria-causing cavities and other gum diseases. Researchers from the University of Illinois established that teeth can last longer if you rinse your mouth using black tea ten times daily. The participants that followed the regimen had less plaque build-up than those who used water to rinse their mouths. Besides, the stickiness and size of the plaque reduced. Tea prevents some of the bacteria responsible for bad odor from clumping together. This helps to ensure you have a fresh breath.
The hard, often brown snacks are packed with lots of good things for your teeth. They contain essential elements like phosphorus and calcium. Some of the most important ones are cashews, almonds, and Brazil nuts. They are crucial in fighting tooth decay. Peanuts are an excellent source for vitamin D and calcium, while almonds are high in calcium. The elements are beneficial to gums and teeth. Cashew nuts have been found to stimulate the production of saliva. Walnuts have an array of nutrients like iron, zinc, niacin, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, thiamine, and fiber.
You may understand the benefits of carrots to your eyesight, but are you aware of their benefits to teeth? Besides their high vitamin A content, carrots are high in fiber content and are crunchy. That helps with increasing the amount of saliva production, which lessens your risk of cavities.
- Leafy greens
There is barely any healthy-foods list that doesn’t feature leafy greens. The importance of kales, spinach, and other leafy vegetables can never be overemphasized. They are filled with minerals and vitamins, yet low in calories. Therefore, they promote proper dental health. The veggies also have high amounts of calcium that strengthens the enamel. You also get the right amounts of vitamin B and folic acid from leafy greens, which have many benefits like helping to treat gum issues in pregnant women. If you don’t like how they taste, start by adding a small portion in your salad or on the pizza.
- Onions and garlic
Garlic is not the food you eat if you want to have a fresh breath. However, the allicin in garlic is known to have critical antimicrobial properties that can help to fight tooth decay, particularly periodontal diseases. When eaten raw, onions have strong antimicrobial properties, particularly the bacteria that are responsible for gum diseases and cavities.
If you have been avoiding taking cheese because of its high-calorie content, you should reconsider your decision, especially if you want to have healthy teeth. A publication from the Journal of General Dentistry reported that the 12 to 15-year-olds that ate cheddar cheese had low acid levels than those you drank a glass of milk. The teenagers that were participating in this study would rinse their mouths with water after eating cheese or drinking milk. The acid levels of their mouths were measured after that. Those who drank milk didn’t have any change in their pH levels, while the cheese eaters experienced a rapid decrease at every interval. Therefore, cheese had the potential of neutralizing plaque. It might also increase the production of saliva, which consequently washes out harmful bacteria.
Saliva is 99 percent water. That is why dehydration thickens the saliva and thus causes havoc in the mouth. Taking enough water ensures that food in the mouth is broken down effectively and also neutralizes acidic bacteria. The end result is that you avoid decay. While water is not as effective as flossing or brushing, it can still rinse away food and thus reduce plaque. Rinsing with water after taking staining foods like coffee may also reduce teeth stains.
Just like tea, cranberries have high levels of polyphenols and offer antioxidant benefits. Fresh cranberries are particularly efficient at disrupting the plaque formation process. When buying the delicacy, beware of the packaged ones because they might contain a lot of added sugar that isn’t good for teeth.
- Sugar-free gum
Gum as long as it is sugarless is crucial in cleaning teeth by prompting the production of saliva. Considering that saliva is nature’s way of cleaning acids that harmful bacteria produce in the mouth, increased saliva is advantageous. It also nourishes teeth in phosphate and calcium, which are critical in strengthening teeth. Many of sugar-free chewing gum brands are sweetened with xylitol, which is antibacterial alcohol. You may want to go for mint flavors as studies have proven mint to be good for dental health.